How Good Are Bitcoin Recovery Services?

Source: iStock/Ladislav Kubeš
By Simon Chandler

One of the biggest differences between cryptocurrency and fiat currency relates to personal responsibility. Sure, you generally have to avoid being financially wasteful with your dollars and cents, but if you happen to use your credit card to buy goods online that never turn up, for instance, banks usually get your money back for you.

In other words, while the legacy financial system often enables and justifies its corrupt existence by letting its exploited customers remain in a state of dependent, benighted innocence, cryptocurrency tends to require people to take more responsibility for themselves and their personal holdings. Because if you lose access to your Bitcoin wallet or funds, that’s usually it: you’ve lost your bitcoin for the rest of time.

But actually, that isn’t always it, since there are a growing number of cryptocurrency recovery services which, in some cases, help people regain access to once inaccessible wallets. However, just how successful are they?

Bitcoin recovery services: what do they do?

“[Recovery services] basically attempt to recover the cryptocurrency holding(s) stored in a presently inaccessible wallet,” explains Arkady Bukh of the Bukh Law Firm and Bitcoin Recovery Co., writing to Cryptonews.com. “There could be a variety of underlying reasons, the most common is loss of a password and a wallet itself.”

Aside from helping people regain access to their software wallets, certain recovery services can also help people regain access to hardware wallets. This is something offered by, among others, Wallet Recovery Services, whose “Dave Bitcoin” tells Cryptonews.com that he has been helping people recover lost bitcoin since 2013.

“The most common problem for people is forgetting their password to their electronic wallet,” he says.

“There are also hardware wallets, such as Ledger or Trezor, which are often protected by pass phrases or mnemonics, which can be lost or forgotten […] I have developed a suite of sophisticated software which can often find the missing password or information and recover the coins. Normally this involves the use of multiple high speed computers to iterate through the massive search space.”

In addition, to remembering forgotten passwords via a variety of ‘brute force’ methods, certain recovery services are able to repair corrupted hard drives on which a cryptocurrency wallet has been stored. The UK-based MJM Data Recovery is one of these services, as explained to Cryptonews.com by its managing director, Mike Montgomery.

“When a user suffers a hard drive or USB stick failure and their bitcoin wallet is stored on that device, it is worth getting the drive to us at MJM Data Recovery Ltd where we can examine the fault, make repairs and then recover the bitcoin wallet. Note that a data recovery company will never need the password for the bitcoin wallet … I recommend that a user NEVER gives their bitcoin passwords to anyone.”

How successful?

Success rates of crypto recovery services vary, although Dave Bitcoin says that a customer’s chances are improved if they have some idea of what their wallet’s password is.

“My overall success rate for recovering funds is about 50% when the user can remember at least some part of the missing information.”

This is an encouraging ratio, although Arkady Bukh notes that many factors can come into play when accessing the chances of success, particularly the length of a password.

“When the client provides only publicly available information, it is impossible to recover anything at all,” he adds. “I would say, every case is different so the percentage of cases situation is not really an applicable concept.”

Good and bad recovery services

However, while there are an increasing number of good recovery services out there, there are also bad or even fraudulent services.

As David Veksler of walletrecovery.info tells Cryptonews.com, “there are many ‘Bitcoin recovery’ scams. Almost all of them have two things in common. First, they ask for money upfront. Legitimate services ask for a percentage of recovered funds. Second, they make impossible promises rather than trying to understand your situation and offer realistic advice.”

As an aid to anyone looking for a good legitimate recovery service, Veksler lays down five of the most important traits a reputable service should have:

  1. They have positive customer reviews from a variety of sources.
  2. They provide a contract before accepting your case.
  3. They try to understand your individual situation and provide realistic feedback about the likelihood of success.
  4. They share their plan for how they will recover your coins.
  5. They use a secure helpdesk-like service to track your case and securely collect your information. Scammers usually ask for passwords and keys over social media.

The future of recovery

Many of the most well-known recovery services began as one-man outfits, yet Arkady Bukh notes that this is gradually changing.

“Recovery service is becoming more of a business rather than a single person operation,” he says.

“Indeed, the ideal service consists of IT and data recovery specialist (when we need to restore the wallet file from damaged hard drives, etc), ethical hackers to attempt the passwords, and legal team to protect the interests of all parties and provide court representation, if needed.”

This is a positive development for potential customers. Because as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies become more valuable, the maturation of the most successful services will help customers distinguish fraudulent services from those that actually have a chance of helping them get their crypto back.

Originally published at Cryptonews

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Bitcoin Cash Will Be Available on HTC’s Blockchain Phone

Bitcoin Cash
Featured image: DepositPhotos © perig76
By Ankit Singhania

Over the past few years, plenty of cryptocurrencies have been created that have further broadened the ecosystem, and one of the most important ones is Bitcoin Cash. On the other hand, it has to be taken into consideration how a crypto ecosystem is emerging pretty quickly, and one of the recent developments in this regard are crypto phones—or blockchain phones.

Over the past weeks, companies like Samsung and LG have announced plans to introduce crypto smartphones, which is why the latest development with regards to HTC is not really a surprise.

Important News for Bitcoin Cash

In a new development, smartphone manufacturing giant HTC has teamed up with Bitcoin.com to support BCH on the crypto wallets in HTC’s blockchain phone. Bitcoin.com published a press release on Monday and announced that it is going to come in as a long-term partner with HTC. Due to the consummation of this partnership, the two will now work together on the Exodus 1 smartphone from HTC and ensure that the built-in crypto wallet supports Bitcoin Cash. This is another development that seeks to make it easier for people to store their BCH tokens. If the whole thing becomes easier, then there is every possibility that the demand for these tokens will rise as well.

On the other hand, it is also important to note that this move from HTC is an indication of the fact that the smartphone maker is trying everything to claw its way back into the market. Back in 2018, the company’s market share dropped to an abysmal 1%, and maybe the company believes that the introduction of a crypto phone might just be the tonic that it needs.

That being said, it is necessary to keep in mind that HTC is a believer in cryptocurrencies and has been involved in a range of projects over the past months. The partnership with Bitcoin.com and the inclusion of Bitcoin Cash looks like a deliberate effort.

Originally published at Crypto Currency News

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Report Back From Ottawa For The Global Day Of Actions For The Amazon

By Northshore Counter Info

A Critical Report Back From Ottawa On Recent Actions In Solidarity With The Struggle Of Indigenous People In The Amazon.

After the fires in the Amazon Rainforest received widespread attention in late August, September 5th was a global day of action in solidarity with a call from Indigenous peoples of the Brazilian Amazon, promoted globally by Amazon Watch and Extinction Rebellion; in Brazil it was the annual Amazon Day, Dia da Amazônia.

Below is a statement from organizers of an action in Ottawa, written in response to media request, followed by some other points of reference.

“This action was global solidarity with the peoples of the Amazon rainforest, the beings of the Amazon rainforest, land defenders, and the work to stop environmental destruction. The destructive violence to our home (the environment) is a mutual product of governments and corporations around the world. The Bolsonaro government of Brazil is particularly harmful to both the environment and human beings.

It was the APIB – Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil [Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil] who initially called for this solidarity.

This action was an opportunity for people locally to meet and converse about these issues and about local organizing, what are people doing here and what else could be done, what possibilities there are.

Not a lot of people came for the late afternoon action at the Brazil embassy. It was last-minute notice, less than 48 hours, but also important to note is that while 70 people RSVPed on Facebook, only 5 people took the opportunity to invite friends on Facebook.

We need to ask:  What things do people choose to support, and in what ways? And how quickly do people lose attention of important things because of pop culture?

What do we actually need in terms of communication networks, if we want a healthy place to live? Many of the people in the Strathcona Park (near the embassy) we approached with flyers after the protest, were in support of the action but hadn’t heard of it in advance.

The protest reminds us, if the Amazon rainforest are a major part of the lungs of the planet, then the planet is not separate places but all one thing. How do we see ourselves in relation to this, and these problems that are getting worse?

We could say, it reminds us we have individual responsibility to work collectively, and it reminds us of our relations.”

There had also been a noon-hour protest at Canada’s Foreign Affairs department, organized by local vegan groups Climate Save and Animal Rebellion. It had more advance notice but still also had less than a dozen people take part.
As organizers who don’t seek to have ownership of actions, we do note the anti-capitalism and NPIC (non-profit industrial complex) based critiques of Amazon Watch and more recently, Extinction Rebellion, such as are articulated by Cory Morningstar et al, primarily at https://WrongKindOfGreen.org.
We seek to highlight specifically the voices of the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon on this issue, and had a half-page handout https://tinyurl.com/amazon-ppls of a text written by a Kayopo chief originally published in The Guardian.
The bottom of the handout had three links to further sources:

There are these recent statements about protecting the Amazon rainforest, from organizations directly within Brazil and-or the Amazon:

The other handout at the action was locally produced, about the overall Brazilian situation with Bolsonaro: https://tinyurl.com/sol-br-4pg or https://tinyurl.com/sol-br-1117
There was a group formed in Ottawa after Bolsonaro’s election, Ottawa-Gatineau Solidarity with Democracy in Brazil, that previously held actions at the Brazilian embassy but now seem to be inactive.
There had also been an earlier action about the Amazon rainforest fires organized by university students in Ottawa from Brazil, people from different circles than the normal Ottawa “activist community”, that did bring a sizable presence. Brazilians in Canada seem disproportionately supportive of Bolsonaro, but concern about the Amazon fires seems to span across Brazilian political ideologies.
This now feels as if it is too long-winded, so perhaps the questions that need to be struggled with:
What are effective resistances to the policies that are killing the Amazon and, by extension, the Indigenous peoples there? Resistances that span continents, that are longer term than social media attention spans, that involve more people, and that evade the implicit control-and-coopt mechanisms of the non-profit industrial complex?
We pose these questions particularly as memory of the Amazon fires fades from public memory, and the mass energy mobilized for the upcoming September 20 and 27 global climate strike actions manifests.
Cory Morningstar / Wrong Kind of Green has also published critical research into 350.org and “The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg.” And there are two recent anonymous posts on https://ItsGoingDown.org addressing critical engagement with the upcoming global #ClimateStrike:

Originally published at It’s Going Down

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Climate Strike: Millions of People Across the World Demand Urgent Action to Save Our Planet

Climate Strike
By Jake Johnson

Kicking off what organizers say will be the largest mass climate demonstration in history, millions of young people and their adult allies flooded the streets around the world Friday to take part in the Global Climate Strike and pressure world leaders to confront the ecological crisis with bold and urgent action.

An estimated 400,000 people gathered in Australia alone as hundreds of thousands of others rallied across India, Germany, Austria, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, the U.K., and other nations.

“We’re here to reclaim our right to live, our right to breathe, our right to exist,” said youth climate activist Aman Sharma, who gathered with thousands in Dehli.

Demonstrations are expected to take place in over 130 nations on Friday, with more than 800 strikes planned in the United States. “I think it’s pretty clear this will be the biggest day of climate action in planetary history,” said 350.org founder Bill McKibben on Friday as images and videos began to pour in on social media.

The strikes, led by youth climate activists, have drawn enthusiastic support from diverse segments of society, including teachersscientiststech workerslabor unions, and lawmakers.

Vic Barrett, a 20-year-old plaintiff in the Juliana v. United States climate lawsuit against the American government, wrote in an op-ed for The Guardian Friday that he is taking part in the Global Climate Strike because “this decade is our last chance to stop the destruction of our people and our planet.”

“We have no choice but to act when the alternative is to sit and watch our world burn,” wrote Barrett. “We have no choice but to act when the alternative is extinction.”

On social media, #ClimateStrike photos and videos were flooding platforms like Twitter with an on-the-ground look from cities and countries from around the world.

In Freiburg, Germany:

Like the sea we rise!
Liebes Klimakabinett, ihr habt euch mit den falschen angelegt…#AlleFuersKlima #FridaysForFuture pic.twitter.com/RW5jn9RnWf

— Fridays for Future Freiburg (@F4F_Freiburg) September 20, 2019

In Sydney, Australia:

Sydney you look incredible! #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/fybxCNfjG0

— School Strike 4 Climate (@StrikeClimate) September 20, 2019

The #ClimateStrike crowd numbers are phenomenal. 
Melbourne 100,000+
Sydney 80,000+
Brisbane 30,000
Hobart 20,000
Canberra 15,000
Perth & Adelaide at least 10,000 each
Thousands more across regional Australia & Pacific https://t.co/rViiPMOgWR @strikeclimate #schoolstrike4climatepic.twitter.com/VAOKRHq7Zu

— Guardian Australia (@GuardianAus) September 20, 2019

In Lahore, Pakistan:

#Lahore gathering for the #ClimateMarch! Where are you when your planet needs you? #ClimateMarchPakistan @ClimateActionPkpic.twitter.com/N1D3bkXLgx

— Sara Hayat (@saratamman) September 20, 2019

In Woerdern, Austria:

So much joy #ClimateStrike Woerdern, Austria 🇦🇹 pic.twitter.com/BtusGuQaTn

— 350 dot org (@350) September 20, 2019

In London, England:

Everybody London #ClimateStrike is massive. I think I’m gonna cry 😭 pic.twitter.com/44OR451v6f

— Hannah Martin 🌍 (@Hannah_RM) September 20, 2019

Originally published at Common Dreams

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‘No Space for More than 4 Blockchain Standards Until 2022’

Source: iStock/Spiderstock
By Tim Alper

Research firm Gartner says that interoperability issues and other factors may hinder financial companies hoping to deploy blockchain solutions over the next three to five years – meaning that only well-established public blockchain platforms or enterprise solutions stand a chance of cornering the market until at least 2022.

Per an official release, Fabio Chesini, Gartner’s senior research director, stated,

“Bank chief information officers must be mindful of the nascent and fragmented state of blockchain standards. We expect no more than four standards to lead the market in the next three to five years.”

Gartner says that most banks currently have to make a polarized choice: go with “enterprise-grade approaches like CordaHyperledger and Digital Asset, or choose from “many public blockchain standards like BitcoinEthereumCardanoEOS and Tezos.”

And Chesini added,

“Blockchain standards for financial services companies are currently fragmented and immature. We are three to five years until standards mature and settle.”

The research company identified a number of reasons for its reasoning, including:

  • Governance – legal issues still abound in the fintech world, and regulators keep moving the blockchain goalposts in many countries. And Gartner says that governance matters will not get much easier in the immediate future. In fact, the research company says governance “will remain centralized and hierarchical during the next three to five years.”
  • Integration issues – software and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers are not currently offering blockchain add-ons. Finding a way to get blockchain solutions working in sync with enterprise software will prove both challenging and expensive – and Gartner says software add-ons are still three to four years off.
  • Interoperability – inter-company blockchain cooperation will be tough considering how many different standards companies can choose from. “Blockchains are a moving target,” says Gartner. And Chesini says that “cross-industry interoperability standards are, and will be, critical.” Again, however, Gartner believes that problem-solving interoperability solutions “are still three to five years away.”
Originally published at Cryptonews

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